Slovenian Third Age University


Since 1984, when it was established through voluntary endeavours of a group of adult education experts and university teachers of andragogy, Slovenian Third Age University has steadily grown to become a national network of 51 universities in 47 localities with about 21 000 students, more than 1000 mentors and volunteers. Its practice has been extensively researched. Today, as a result, this U3A  follows its own generalisations and is based on its own model.

Fields of activities

  • Education of groups of older people: older workers, older people about to get retired, older people in the third age,                                                            
  • Education about older people for professionals, policy makers, employers, students from various faculties,
  • Integrated counselling and active ageing guidance,                                                                      
  • Establishing intergenerational  projects, events, practices,                                                               
  • Promoting and organising voluntary activities in culture,                                                                    
  • Promoting and organising supportive learning structures,                                               
  • Researching old age, older adult education, developing educational programmes,  Researching dyslexia (also in adult and older adults),                                
  • Organising conferences and the International Festival of Knowledge and Culture in Later Life


  • to achieve better understanding of older people’s needs and to better their life through culture and education,
  • to facilitate integration of older people in society through their personal growth, paid or voluntary work,
  • to support active ageing in all its forms,
  • to enable different generations to collaborate, study and work together,
  • to conduct public campaigning in the field of older people’s issues and education,
  • to support older workers to stay on the labour market and /or to get back there,
  • to research education of older adults and to disseminate the findings,
  • to educate teachers, mentors and facilitators in the field,
  • to provide education for professionals dealing with people in later life,
  • to develop new innovative educational programmes for different groups of people in later life,
  • to provide integrated counselling and guidance for active ageing (educational, psychological, legal, and guidance in the field of labour market),
  • to ensure networking of civil and public organisations active in the field of education in later life,
  • to raise awareness about dyslexia in adulthood and later life

Target groups: retired people, older workers, workers in the pre-retirement period, unemployed people, young people, teachers, employers, professionals, etc.

Supporting activities: research, publication, resource centre, education of younger university students, education of mentors, education of employers and social partners, integrated counselling and guidance for active ageing national and international projects, intergenerational learning and cooperation.

Slovenian Third Age University pursuits research  as well as  adult education, older adult education (for personal growth, employment, voluntary work and active citizenship) as well as setting up intergenerational learning practices. All its educational endeavours meet both personal and local community needs.

Slovenian Third Age University is  typically a multiplier who has been bringing new actors into  education in later life in Slovenia (libraries, museums, hospitals, The Red Cross, etc.) It has had a consultative role in national and European organisations (AGE Platform Europe, UN). Slovenian Third Age University has introduced theory and practice of cultural voluntary mediators in museums, education of older people for local development, guidance or integrated counselling for active ageing etc.

Slovenian Third Age University has been engaged in a fair number of bilateral (MATRA) and EU projects ( PEFETE , PEFETE 2, FORWARD, FORWARD TRAINER, LACE, IANUS, AESAEC, DANET, SENIOR, PERSONAL TOWN TOURS, FORAGE, ECIL CINAGE, DIGITAL DANUBEtec.) and is the founding member of EMIL intergenerational network, the Danube Civil Society Forum. So far it has organised a fair number of national and international conferences and seminars  etc. It has published a number of scientific monographs and scientific as well as professional articles, it has  become a learning centre for university students of andragogy and geragogy  and it set up a specialized public library. Slovenian Third Age University has its research institute dealing with education. For five years Slovenian Third Age University representative worked  as an expert for employment and education of older people for Age Platform Europe.

Slovenian Third Age University